Boeing Nut
Posts: 5078
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2001 2:42 am

Media Coverage Of Emergency Landings

Sun Mar 25, 2001 12:17 pm

This is something that is extremely frustrating to me. I am by no means dismissing the seriousness of these events. Not in the least. However, the media blows these events so out of proportion that the public doesn't see the real story. It's absolute sensationalism. There are several emergency landings in this country every day. Or as they should be called, precautionary landings. But we don't hear about those for one of two reasons. 1 -the media somehow never got wind of it, or, 2 - nobody died. It's a morbid thing to say but it's true. The media focuses on the potential "terrifing events", and "the publics right to know". Why don't they focus on why airplanes DON'T crash? Educate them on back up systems and crew experience. Just because you are flying on an aircraft with a mechnical problem doesn't mean you are given an automatic death sentence. Emphasize that, yes, there are many emergency landings. But they end safely because of all the safety features. Do something constructive with information.

Yes, when they happen, crashes are tragic. But the media is hypnotized with the tragedy and the number of people killed. Is it any less tragic when one or two people are killed an a car crash? In some years, more poeple die in automobile accidents in one year, than U.S. soldiers died during the entire Vietnam campaign. You don't hear about those people very often, do you?
I'm not a real aeronautical engineer, I just play one on
Posts: 545
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2000 4:21 am

RE: Media Coverage Of Emergency Landings

Sun Mar 25, 2001 1:22 pm

I remember reading a story, can't recall where, but this photographer would arrive at the scene of a plane crash with a doll, find a young child, and place the doll near or on the child and take a picture. This guy had to be sick.

Posts: 1731
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2000 7:16 am

RE: Media Coverage Of Emergency Landings

Sun Mar 25, 2001 2:33 pm

that was in Airways "tales of the ramp" April 2001. Very sad article but interesting.
The Ohio Player
Posts: 785
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2001 2:03 pm

RE: Media Coverage Of Emergency Landings

Sun Mar 25, 2001 4:04 pm

I don't mean to add to the morbidity, but the fact is, those kind of stories ARE more interesting.

Anybody ever read that Stephen King editorial on our desire for horror movies? To deny that humans have a natural curiosity for such things is naive. How many thousands of people slow down to get a better view of a car crash? Are you implying all these people are sickos?

I'm not saying this is a human characteristic to be *PROUD* of, but every single person has a certain morbid curiosity in them, and these kinds of stories satisfy it.

(I do still agree though that the media does tend to blow things out of proportion.)

RE: Media Coverage Of Emergency Landings

Sun Mar 25, 2001 4:58 pm

Did you guys know that the footage of United 232 crashing is the most watched piece of TV news footage in US history?
Posts: 785
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2001 2:03 pm

RE: Media Coverage Of Emergency Landings

Sun Mar 25, 2001 5:02 pm

Could you show me a source for this? I find that very hard to believe.
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Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 1:32 pm

RE: Media Coverage Of Emergency Landings

Sun Mar 25, 2001 5:39 pm

The media coverage can also vary depending upon what city and what airline.
I live in Atlanta and anytime an AirTran flight make an emergency landing it gets covered heavily (all because they used to be Valujet). But if Delta has one, it gets buried (could it be that Delta has the local media in their backpocket?), in fact the owners of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution are on the board at Delta. Delta may get 15-30 sec., while AirTran may get 45-90 sec of coverage. The best was back in November when AirTran and Delta had fires on their planes two days apart, and both airlines dominated the front pages of the page that Saturday. I was flying that day, and they handed out the daily paper in Business Class, and articles on these two incidences dominated the paper (I hope there wasn't any fearful flier in B.C. that day). There is definately media bias when it comes to airline flight emergencies. One day the media may make a certain airline their darling, then they have a crash, and get vilified in the press. Sound familiar anyone? This is what happened to Valujet. They have been AirTran for nearly four years, and every chance the media gets, they refer to them as the airline formerly known as Valujet. If this had happened at one of the majors, the fallout would have ended within 6 months to a year.

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